Effective Bible Study Method #1: Read It All
In the next 3 blog posts, I’m sharing my 3 favorite, effective Bible study methods.
I’ve been studying the Bible since before I was even following the Lord — thanks to being a PK (Preacher’s Kid). Which means that in my lifetime, I’ve probably engaged in every type of Bible study known to man. From AWANA kids to Bible drills, studying Koine Greek and reading the Bible straight through, sermons and Sunday School and “learning groups”, etc… You name it, I’ve done it.
In that time, there have been 3 distinct Bible study methods that I continue to use year after year. Let’s talk about each one over the next few posts, and maybe you can pick up a new methodology for your own Bible study time!
Read the Bible cover-to-cover
Study one theme in the Bible
Meditate on one verse or passage in the Bible
Read the Bible cover-to-cover
In today’s posts, I’m going to explain this first tried-and-true method, which is reading the entire Bible cover-to-cover as a complete work of literature.
In each of these blog posts, I’d like to explain both the “Why” for each method, and a simple “How To” do each one.
To help explain each method, I’d like to use the analogy of watching a movie in comparison to reading the Bible. Reading the Bible cover-to-cover is like watching a movie about the entire life of a character, let’s say Frida Kahlo. After watching this movie, you’ll have loose knowledge of everything that Frida lived through: her upbringing, the life-altering accident in her youth, her young volatile marriage, how traveling inspired her art, and eventually her death.
Knowing Frida’s entire life will help put into context any particular periods of her life you study in the future. It won’t provide depth into any one part of her life, but it will provide very relevant context. You’ll know her life as a whole.
Similarly, reading the Bible cover-to-cover is pivotal in any further Bible study you complete. When I was a new Christian, I read the Bible cover-to-cover a handful of times. This helped me to see the significance of each story within the context of the entire history of God’s faithfulness to His people. It helped me to see the greater glory of God versus the temporary struggles of the young church in Acts. Having basic knowledge of the entire Bible taught me to place more significance on God’s eternal qualities and less significance on my momentary happiness.
I don’t just want to reason with you that you SHOULD read the Bible as a complete work, but I’d like to show you how to do it. There are resources like the “One-Year Bible” which split the Word into an easy to follow plan:
The way I did it, when I didn’t have a One-Year Bible, was just to divide the number of pages into 365 days, and then read however many pages I needed to each day. It may sound overwhelming — I completely understand!! It’s a daily act of discipline, and God will give you grace to do it. As a new believer, I was not only inconsistent in my devotional time, but I was just a really inconsistent person, and I doubted whether I had it in me to complete my desired goal.
After reading the Bible daily (almost daily, if we’re honest) for multiple years, I learned to start my day with discipline, which really changed me as a person.
At the time, my old Bible had exactly 1,095 pages, which divided by 365 days/year, equaled 3 pages per day. The beginning was easy. Genesis tells these lovely stories that are easy to read and afterward ponder the significance of them. But once I got to Leviticus…Ummm…yeah, that was tough. That’s when you find out how dedicated you really are! HAHA! In these difficult books/passages of Scripture, pray more. Rely on God’s grace to ease you through it.
When you miss a day, just make it up the next day. But from personal experience, don’t miss several days… Otherwise, you’ll be spending your Saturday catching up. If you miss so much that you can’t catch up, repent and move along. It would be better at the end of the year to say, “I read most of the Bible — 90% of it,” than to say, “I set a goal at the beginning of the year but backed out by February.” Right?? We’ve all been there. This year-long Bible reading practice can teach you a myriad of lessons about commitment, dedication, motivation, and discipline.
If you find yourself quitting on your goals very often, I wrote this excellent blog post on learning to persist until you complete your goals:
You can do this! You can complete everything God asks you to do, because it is God working within you. You don’t have to rely on yourself. You can fully lean into the grace God provides to accomplish this ambitious goal!
“For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.”
Leave a Comment!
I hope you’ve gained insight into this method for studying the God’s Word. But I’m curious — have you ever read the Bible cover-to-cover? Tell me in the comments section below!
If you have, is it an on-going part of your Bible study regimen? It’s not part of mine, but I’m thinking about adding it in. If you have any tricks to keep up with it, leave your advice in the comments!
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